Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Monday, February 20, 2006

It’s Not the Child Who’s the Problem—It’s the Parents

You are sitting in a nice restaurant enjoying an evening out, and you smile at the nicely dressed couple with that adorable 2 year old that was just seated adjacent to you. Suddenly, the tike voices his opinion.

You wonder if the sound from that tiny body will curdle that $9 glass of Merlot you just ordered.

Many diners know what it's like to have a child's howl startle them into nearly stabbing themselves in the cheek with their salad fork.
But, not to worry. Certainly one of the parents will remove the child from the restaurant forthwith. Then it does not happen. And, the out-of-control behavior is not limited to restaurants, but it is most annoying in the confined environment in which the diner is captive for an extended period of time.

The above quotes are from an article entitled, Misbehaving children in restaurants can be a 'Catch-22' for all sides. According to the article, many people are in agreement that there is an increasing lack of civility by parents when it comes to parental responsibility. And, the offending parents are the well heeled, who appear to have an entitlement attitude about subjecting others to their ill-behaved brood.

Some parents believe that they must take their children out to restaurants as it is the only way to acclimate the children to the experience. That is basically true, but the children are not eligible for the experience until they have demonstrated a modicum of restraint and decorum in public. That’s the problem, many parents have not put in the hard work required to civilize their children. Rather the kids are bundled off to daycare and pre-schools where the caretakers and teachers are unreasonably expected to perform the parental duties associated with civilizing the little darlings. The parents are often too tired at the end of a work day to accomplish much except getting dinner on the table and baths before bed. Needless to say the most important task of consistent discipline is often lacking. The end result is ill-mannered children and generally at no fault of their own.

The less than competent parents seem to come in two forms: those who do nothing; and those who lack follow-up and who are constantly yammering at the kid, who has learned to ignore the parent.

There is certainly something to be said for the stay-at-home parent and the opportunity to introduce consistent discipline to the child’s rearing. Of course, staying-at-home does not guarantee that the parent will follow through, but it is a good start.

The old saying that children should be seen and not heard is truer today than it ever was. After having said that, I suppose that I’ll be vilified as a children hater. But, I’m not. I just have contempt for you if you have not properly disciplined your child and you inflict him on me.

P.S. to Anonymous in the Comments Section—Read My Lips; Contempt is not the same as angry!